Sony Cycle Energy Charger

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thomast77

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I wanted to get a Maha charger but my funds are tight so I started looking for cheaper alternatives. I found the Sony Cycle Energy Charger model BCG34HRE4KN. For $25 you get the charger and 4 Sony low Discharge batteries.

The best part is the Charger. It has a refresh option and Smart Charger instead of the Timed charge found in most of the chargers in this price range. It monitors the batteries and stops charging each battery when it has been fully charged, So you don't overcharge your batteries. This also gives you the option of charging any number of batteries 1-4 at a time. If like me you have a scanner (bcd396xt) which requires 3 AA batteries. It will charge 3 batteries instead of requiring you to charge either 2 or 4 at a time.

I guess I should mention the batteries which come with the charger. 4 2100mah Sony low discharge batteries. They come pre charged and perform better than the 2300mah Energizers I was using before I got this Sony kit. I cannot compare to Eneloop as I have never used them. I do plan on getting some in the near future. I do like these Low Discharge batteries and I will not be buying anymore Energizers.

Anyway that is my review of the Sony Cycle Energy Charger model BCG34HRE4KN. By the way I include the model number because Sony does sell another Sony Cycle Energy Charger that has no refresh and is a timed charger.

So if you are on a budget in these Bad Economic times or you just like a good deal I hope this review has helped you.
Tom
 

Fast1eddie

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Thanks for the tip, my energizers are starting to go and I am beginning to look for alternatives. As a experiment I loaded my 8200 with Energizer Lithiums and want to see how long they will go. We used lithium battery packs in some of our radio equipment when I was in the Army. When they were no longer suitable for service, we used them for the shop's boombox. They certainly lasted and if I remember correctly you would have to keep them out of the cold. I will certainly give the Sony a shot.

Ed
 

nanZor

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That Sony is a GREAT smart charger, and far better than most off the rack offerings these days. It is even smarter than the venerable Sanyo eneloop charger (MQN06) that comes with many of their packages and unfortunately charges in pairs.

The Sony BCG-34HRE is my main backup / travel charger when I'm not using a Maha MH-C9000 analyzer for both low self discharge and regular nimh cells.

Sony did their homework. A slower but just as smart one (sans the discharge function) is the BCG-34HLD series. Don't be fooled by only a single status light on this unit -it DOES charge individually. Avoid the recent dumb BCG-34HH4 series as that one charges in pairs and not individually like the HR and HL series.

Basically, my suggestion is that if you want simplicity, yet a truly smart charger that is miles above most oem battery manufacturers joke chargers that some claim to be smart but aren't, the Sony's are the ones to get. The batteries are decent, although there are other quality batteries out there if you don't get fooled by old-stock dumping offers.

Heed their warning to remove the batteries from the charger when finished. There is no trickle charge (a good thing and needless with LSD batteries anyway), but if left in the charger, they will discharge a bit faster than if left out of it. So it is not a good idea to store batteries in these chargers during long non-use periods.

You chose wisely!
 
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nanZor

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Note - while I think the BCG34HRE4KN is the better charger of the two, the slower BCG34HLD series originally came with gray plastic - newer versions of the HLD series with improved charging (still the same slower rate) are white plastic.
 

Sportster77

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Sears also sells a smart charger with 4- 2100 mAh Ni-MH for under $30, that will charge 1 - 4 batteries at a time. Can also charge 2 AA and 2 AAA at the same time.
It seems to be working quite well for me since I bought it a couple of months ago, esspecially for charging the 2500mAh Harbor Freight specials.
 

MisterK33

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Thanks for the suggestion! I just ordered this charger to replace the "dumb" CVS charger I bought in January, and I'm looking forward to trying it out :)
 
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